Best Movie Villain: Natalie “Mother” Koffin
Feminism. Yes. I’m obviously all for it. Even in horror movies. Sometimes that means supporting women who do awful things in the movies. Which explains why my favorite movie villain just so happens to be a very strong and very evil woman: Natalie Koffin, or as she is better known: Mother from Darren Lynn Bousman’s Mother’s Day.
I’ve seen a lot of movies in all genres in my time, as a self-proclaimed film geek, and so by this point in time very little, if anything, scares me. Mother Koffin is one of the few, rare things that has creeps me out. She is a villain in a league of her own.
The thing that makes Mother so intimidating is the fact that she is always in control. Always. Even when you think you’ve gotten the upper hand on her, it won’t last for long at all. Mother is as evil as they come, while still having a totally compassionate side and not crossing over into complete sociopath territory. She does what she does not because she likes to be an evil, calculating person, but because she’s doing what she has to for her children, and because she genuinely believes there are rules everyone must follow, with consequences for breaking them.
From a feminist perspective, Mother is my favorite movie villain because she is strong and dominates everyone and everything around her with her presence. She is smart. She is self-possessed, even in downtrodden circumstances like having her home and money taken from her.
Some might question Mother as an authoritative, feminist figure because she ultimately has her children (more specifically, her sons) do the dirty work for her. But this doesn’t change the fact that she is still running the show. In fact, it’s because she is so powerful and diabolical that she is able to have the control over her children (and the other people in the Sohapi house) that she does.
Her sons are heartless, macho criminals, with no sense of decency or empathy; and yet they break down like babies under the will of their mother. They become like infants who can’t function without her and who jump at her every beck and call.
The lengths that Mother is willing to go to in order to get what she wants are some of the most disturbing imaginable, especially coming from a suburban mother of 4. She has no problem having people tortured, deafening someone, or ruthlessly killing for her children, and she shows no emotion when she does so. This is made even more disturbing because her excuse isn’t that she’s a sociopath incapable of human emotion; we know that she is very capable of empathizing and has her own extreme emotions; she is absolutely capable of love and compassion; she just chooses not to feel these things for anyone other than her children. For all intents and purposes, Mother is a perfectly rational person…who just so happens to be a manipulative, cold-hearted proudly evil woman.
The best part of all is that when all is said and done, we as an audience eventually learn that Mother is eerily completely in the right about everything she’s said and done throughout the entire film.